Medical assistance in dying discussed with four veterans by a ministry official

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Medical assistance in dying discussed with four veterans by a ministry official

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay

This was not an “isolated incident”: an RCMP investigation found that on four occasions a Veterans Affairs officer raised the issue of medical assistance to die with veterans seeking medical assistance.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been dealing with discontent for several months from veterans due to very long delays in processing requests for help.

During a session of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs on Thursday, the minister responsible, Lawrence MacAulay, confirmed that the RCMP's ongoing investigation had uncovered two more cases, bringing the total to four. the number of times a departmental employee discussed medical assistance in dying with veterans.

The minister characterized any discussion of medical assistance in dying with a veteran wanting to get care of totally unacceptable.

If any of the veterans are watching [the broadcast of the committee meeting], I'm sorry , he said.

The Global News network first reported on August 16 that a ministry employee discussed medical assistance in dying with a veteran. Wounded Warriors Canada executive director Scott Maxwell said he was horrified by the case.

According to the witness cited by Global News, the ministry official allegedly mentioned medical assistance in dying on several occasions, in addition to telling him that he had helped another veteran obtain it through Veterans Affairs Canada.

Before Thursday's hearing, Minister MacAulay had repeatedly assured that this was an isolated incident.

On Thursday, he admitted that one of the new cases occurred last May.

He claimed that training had been given to ministry officers so that this would not happen again.

The agent behind these cases has been suspended.

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